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Tow truck driver hit on the job now fighting for his life

Move over or slow down: Tow truck driver fighting for his life after crash
Updated: Aug. 24, 2018 at 1:01 AM EDT
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Greenwell is fighting for his life in the hospital. (Source: Family photo)
Greenwell is fighting for his life in the hospital. (Source: Family photo)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An employee of Mosby's Towing and Transport was struck by a car on Saturday and hospitalized with serious injuries.

The crash happened on Interstate 71, near the Zorn Avenue exit in Louisville.

The driver who hit the tow truck driver, Brent Greenwell, isn't being charged, despite a Kentucky law that requires drivers to move over and make room for first responders or other public safety vehicles on the side of the highway.

Greenwell spent five days in the hospital before he opened his eyes. He's still not talking.

He has a long recovery ahead of him. His pelvis was shattered and his hip and other bones that support his spine were broken. Doctors also had to remove a kidney. Greenwell's friends are fundraising for the tow truck driver and his family. Click here to help.

Kentucky State Police said, just like speeding, they monitor for drivers who don't follow the move over law. Greenwell's co-workers said they are often inches away from vehicles going up to 70 m.p.h.

"It's like a brotherhood in towing," Brian Johns said. "Everybody is closeknit and we all know each other. We take care of each other."

Johns is Greenwell's boss. He explained the vulnerability that comes with their job. Every shift consists of lying on the side of the highway, while semis and cars fly by, Johns said.

"Nobody moves over," Johns said.

Johns said he and his staff have had close calls, but Saturday evening was a first for Mosby's.

Greenwell was picking up a van and standing on the bed of his truck when a red Hyundai sedan hit the truck, throwing him over the guardrail.

"All you have to do is slow down," Johns said. "Give us a break and some room to work. We are trying to go home to our families too."

Louisville Metro Police Department spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said the driver was distracted and there are no charges at this time. Officers can only write citations for violations they witnessed.

In Kentucky, drivers who don't give space or slow down for emergency vehicles and service trucks can face a citation, if law enforcement sees it.

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"You can tell those that are not trying to move over," Trooper Robert Purdy, Kentucky State Police said. "They are not slowing down. Whenever we see something like that we are making stops just like we would any other kind of traffic infraction."

KSP wrote 227 citations related to the move over law in 2017; 171 citations in 2016; and 196 in 2015.

"This law isn't well known and there aren't a lot of billboard or flashing signs," Johns said.

KSP said they work on informing the public. Johns said it doesn't seem like a lot of people are listening.

"We are so close to the roadway," Johns said. "We are just inches away and cars drive by at 60 or 70 miles an hour. It's a tough deal."

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